It’s not really a secret that I don’t like WSG on my level 80 Warlock main. I started playing it a few months into Wrath, when it was dominated by pre-nerf Death Knights. While I found I could do tremendous amounts of damage, I died so often that felt like I really wasn’t contributing much, and we tended to lose. I got very frustrated by the whole battleground, and pretty much spent my time in Alterac Valley instead.
It was actually surprising to me when I took my Death Knight into the Gulch. Yes, you could totally own the battlefield as a DK. I got achievements on Cynwulf that I never thought I’d see on Cynwise, sometimes with ridiculous ease. And I won. A lot.
This kind of lopsided experience led me to consider two possibilities; either Warlocks just sucked in Warsong Gulch, or I sucked at playing one there. I mostly believed the latter.
(You may ask why I didn’t consider that DKs were so overpowered that using them as a comparison was foolish. I did consider it, but since they were dominating PvP I thought it a moot point. Either you were able to handle the hordes of DKs running around, or you couldn’t. I’ve mellowed since then.)
So when I started making twinks, I thought a lot about my past experiences and said, here’s a bugaboo that I can’t seem to get past on my main. Maybe if I can roll back to a simpler time I can learn to master this battleground.
I don’t know how to play other classes nearly as well as I play a Warlock. But this is the one place where I just don’t play well. The challenge is not learning a new class, it’s learning an old class a different way to avoid mistakes you made the first time.
So that challenge to myself is why I rolled Cynwine.
Her name uses another Anglo-Saxon suffix (-wine), one comfortably close in spelling and sound to Cynwise, so as to make the class apparent. Oddly, it is really more similar in meaning to -wyn, but I figured that worked, too. I considered a joking, fun name — yes, I do do that, as you’ll see — but it just didn’t seem right. Warlocking is serious business. I have a score to settle with Warsong Gulch, and this is my instrument.
(She also has the same face and hairstyle of my main, just in case someone missed what I’m doing here.)
The first ten levels breezed by, and not just because of the heirlooms. While there are plenty of low-level spells that I haven’t used in months, they’re familiar old friends. (Hello, Curse of Agony! I haven’t seen you in a while. How’s the wife and kids?)
While the spells are familiar, the playstyle is decidedly NOT. Deep Destruction plays at range, with huge combos that destroy the opponent before they get close. Deep Affliction plays very nimbly, drain-tanking, constantly moving while the DoTs take life from others and give it to you.
At level 10-19 you aren’t really anything but a Warlock. You have some dots, some weak nukes, some drains. You do a lot of pet tanking, some fearing, and lots and lots of dotting. You’re not quite yet strong enough for serious drain-tanking, you can’t chain nuke for very long, and your pets lack the punch they’ll develop later. But all the elements are there, in a strange mishmash of the later styles.
PvE is easy: send in the Voidwalker, dot ‘em up (CoA, Corruption, Immolate if you like), and wand ‘em down, drain ‘em if you’re low. PvP is a bit more interesting because Fear is more potent due to your opponents lacking the defenses of later levels, but it’s still a similar strategy. You probably should flip your CoA/Corruption cast rotation and put Corruption on first in PvP to start front-loading damage. (You’re not worried about threat, after all.)
All of this sounds good, doesn’t it?
Yeah. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’m struggling with it, a bit.
It’s not the execution, or that I’m fumbling around trying to figure out what I should do. Each spell I learn gets placed into a familiar spot on my keyboard, each ability gets macroed in the appropriate sequence. It’s not that leveling is hard: multiple mobs are a breeze. DPSing instances with the new LFG is great — I handle it much better than I ever did on Cynwise. PvP in the leveling bracket is predictable, though some nights are better than others.
No, instead I struggle with motivation and enjoyment. There are times that I’ve had a lot of fun on Cynwine, but they’re few and far between compared to any of the other twinks I’m leveling now. The grim efficiency with which I play her lacks the delight I’ve had freezing things in place with my mage, or charging with my warrior, or sneaking about on my rogue.
In some ways this reflects my recent attitude towards my main. After months of playing her almost exclusively, it’s just not as much fun as it was before. It’s now a matter of execution, of doing the right things at the right time. And to be honest? Ruthless efficiency can get kinda boring.
I debated whether I should talk about my motivation behind rolling each twink. I think in this case it’s definitely the right thing to do, because it will explain a lot of my future behavior towards this toon. I am conflicted about this warlock, this grim girl with the green goggles who exists solely to settle a score with a battleground.
I play to have fun. And I think I can have fun playing her.
But we also have a job to do together.